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As the country's oldest national labo- We have now launched a special ratory, the National Bureau of effort to renew and enhance our Standards started working on mea- technical competences in research areas surement problems just after the turn of critical to the Nation and basic to our the century. Seventy-eight years later, goals. This strengthening of technical we are still providing the Nation with excellence is designed to ensure that the the scientific foundations needed for ac- Bureau can continue to provide the curate measurements, and we are con- underpinning essential to our ability as tinuing to serve as a resource of techni- a Nation to make strides in top priority cal support and advice for the Federal

and emerging research fields. Government.

Even as we build for the future, the Science and technology have changed Bureau is carrying out today's work. tremendously since NBS first opened This report summarizes a number of its doors. Basic measurement science significant NBS accomplishments has become much more sophisticated, during fiscal year 1978. There were, of and our technical challenges have

course, many more. In fact, the Bureau become increasingly complex and is working on literally hundreds of numerous.

projects at any one time. In many respects, NBS has changed One of our prime goals is to make too. Judging by our expanded Con- NBS work more accessible to the gressional mandates and the variety of Bureau's varied users in industry, research areas we are engaged in, the academia, government, and the general need for the Bureau's research and as- public. We encourage you to ask for sistance in solving national science- and more details on Bureau projects. To technology-related problems has grown help you use the information resulting substantially.

from our research, an appropriate NBS We have tried to keep pace with the laboratory or office is noted for each times and this country's needs, carrying project cited in this report along with a out the scientific and technical tasks list of selected publications. You will that are consistent with our multiple also find a Directory with names, admissions. This means that in addition to dresses, and phone numbers. Feel free working to provide a better scientific

to call on us. basis for measurements, our researchers have been involved with the tasks of improving industrial productivity, promoting better materials use, using energy efficiently, and other societal challenges.


S. Ambler


The headquarters of the National Bureau of Standards is located in Gaithersburg. Maryland.

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From the outset in 1901 when it was es- used in thousands of ways each day, enforce any standards. Rather, NBS tablished by Congress, the National constituting the Nation's underlying provides the technical basis for the Bureau of Standards has been a measurement network.

actual selection and application of stannational scientific and technical Over the course of its 78 years, NBS dards by government agencies or resource working in the public interest. has also been a technological problem- domestic and international voluntary

As the Nation's central reference lab- solver and an unbiased source of scien- standards organizations. oratory for measurements in the tific and technological advice for the A part of the U.S. Department of physical sciences and engineering, NBS Nation. From the very start-and now Commerce, the Bureau's staff of 3,150 develops, maintains, improves, and dis- more than ever before—the Bureau has includes a large contingent of scientists seminates hundreds of measurement used the technical know-how it has and engineers in just about every spestandards. These include the funda- developed in meeting its measurement cialization, along with mathematimental standards relied upon for tem- and standards responsibilities to answer cians, economists, architects, and perature, time and frequency, mass, problems that the Congress, other gov- professionals in a variety of other disciamount of substance (mole), length, ernment agencies, or industry bring to plines. This depth and breadth of and electrical measurements. The it. Whatever the challenge, if it involves expertise is one of the reasons why the methods for making these measure- measurement in any way, NBS has Bureau has always been viewed ments and the standards themselves are probably been working on the differently and relied upon by a very needed by scientists, engineers, and answers—or helping others to find the diverse clientele in industry, governmedical practitioners, as well as solutions.

ment, and academia. business managers and consumers. The Bureau is not a regulatory To research scientists in university, These techniques and standards are agency, so it does not mandate or

corporate, or government laboratories,
NBS is a source of reference materials,
data, and standards that are needed to
calibrate equipment, make essential
calculations, or improve measurement
• To engineers involved in product or
system design-whether it be a waste
incineration plant, a super-sensitive mi-
croelectronic device, or an energy-
efficient refrigerator—the Bureau is an
authoritative distributor of technical
guidelines and standards.

To Federal and local government officials administering energy, materials, or any number of research programs, the Bureau is an independent laboratory that performs research with objectivity and technical soundness. To those making decisions about consumer protection, environmental quality, and

public safety regulations, NBS is an Ai left, physicist Louis Holdeman describes the NBS electrical measurements facilities to a delegation from the Peoples Republic of China. Above, DOC Assistant Secretary for Science and Technology Jordan J. Baruch and members of the delegation look on as Robert Crowder demonstrates NBS literature retrieval operations.

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